S_V_H When Doves Cry Final image

When Doves Cry 2017, acrylic paint, three canvas panels with wood and aluminum added, 52.5 inches in length by 25.75 in height.

When  Doves Cry is finished and is my second artwork dedicated to Prince.  I decided to do another Purple painting, because reluctantly, I sold the first. This artwork than shares style and the basic color themes from the painting Purple Rain, while expanding the colors and not using Purple Rain’s rounded flat disks for the purple rain.  Instead, for When Doves Cry, I poured the paint to create a better looking and rounder purple rain.  The big difference between these two works is the use of aluminum strips to connect canvases.  This new connection method used by When Doves Cry, for first time,  separates the music from the canvas.  This artwork is the result of an evolution in style that started with my first use of wood with Sweet little angel.

The first Prince painting, Purple Rain, represented a style pushed to its limits. This second Prince artwork, breaks with the past, by opening the door for other style possibilities.  When Doves Cry is a unique tribute to the originality that was Prince and his music.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H When Doves Cry image 1

This is the second painting dedicated to the music of Prince.  My first painting, Purple Rain originated from a request by a Prince fan.  The artwork ended up larger and a bigger project than first thought, and the fan turned it down because of the cost.  I was actually happy with the idea of keeping this work, considering it an unusually unique painting.  That lasted a week when, with regrets, I sold it to the Prince fan’s wife for their anniversary.

I am using the color ideas from the research I did for Purple Rain.  To make this small artwork stand out I have decided to give it its own unique twist:  I have chosen a new material to add interest and a unique look.

What is special with this painting is that hole in the artwork, in which I will float the music across. The idea of spacing between canvases originated with the artwork, Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix, where I used square pieces of wood along the backs of the canvases to connect them. The painted look of the wood looked great for that artwork,  but I had technical problems which included straightness. To avoid those issues for When Doves Cry,  I chose angled aluminum for its strength, straightness, and exceptional ease of use.

There are no YouTube videos available for When Doves Cry:

Scott Von Holzen


S_V_H Purple Rain final image


Purple Rain,  which I started from a suggestion on April 6th, I have now finished. The canvas is three feet by four feet in length. This artwork, following my current trend uses many add-on wooden features.  Besides using a lot of shades of purple and violet I search the internet to find as many images of Prince to get an understanding of his fashion look.  I then took as many of those colors,  and put them into this work. All of those circles, of various sizes, I custom-made and they, you guessed it, represent purple rain.

I have listened to a lot of Prince this last month. I have also felt a closeness to this work, and the thought of selling this artwork, will separate us, which I am having some doubts. I am seeing,  in the over one hundred music paintings that I have done, that certain artworks I should keep in my possession. Examples of those would be Thunder Road, Hallelujah, and I Won’t Dance.  Now, I am thinking about Purple Rain if it belongs with the few.  Hard decisions they all are, but selling some works is good for business, and even better than piling Purple Rain up with the rest of my unsold potential masterpieces.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I present Purple Rain, my unsure of artistic creation to the memory of Prince.


Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Purple Rain image 4


Purple Rain the artwork is taking on it own personality, and direction. It is enjoyable to try to capture some of the feel of Prince, but it is more fun to let go of the work to develop without the feeling of obligation to this superstar performer.  It is an artwork, and not so much a tribute painting, but more so my version of a unique cover of a great piece of pop music.

In this image you will see that I have placed the number 2 and 4, along with the letter U on this artwork. It is amazing how hard it is to find smaller size letters at the three craft stores I visited. They are a little large, so to tone down their size I blended them into the background. Truthfully, I did not think originally of adding any extra lettering, until I read that great blog tribute to Prince by Shawn S, and saw his use of the number 2 instead of the word two, and so on throughout his blog.  Of course,  that is his tribute to the titles of some great Prince songs such as I would Die 4 U,  The question of U, Take me with U, U got the Look, 2morrow, Nothing compares 2 U, Joint 2 Joint, 2 nigs united 4 west Compton,  and Love 2 the 9’s, for examples.

The next image, in a few days from now, will be the final image of this enjoyable painting.

Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Purple Rain image3


An Artist’s music can live forever, but they don’t, and if  touched by them, maybe this tweet says it best:
Thinking about how we mourn artists we’ve never met. We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.     — Juliette (@ElusiveJ)

Here is a beautiful tribute 2 Prince Rogers Nelson, by a co-worker and extreme fan,  Shawn S.

I was and not I am even more focused on doing my best to make Purple Rain the painting a fine example of contemporary musical art. For What it’s Worth.

With this image you are seeing the music flow in place. Working with wood, and then attaching it to the canvas is a learn as you go experiment.  For example,  after gluing the music on to this canvas,  I had to figure out how to carefully remove dried glued wood from fragile canvas.

In this work two of my I beams dropped out-of-place, and needed to be removed, and re-positioned. It was not until I applied heat from a hair dryer to these misguided sticks,  that the damage to the painting dropped to almost nothing.  I was lucky that the move, and the repairs worked, and the painting is back to original condition. All of these mistakes are well deserved, and paid in full by a self-taught artist that is pushing Musical painting to extremes.

I am aware that when I start each of these artworks, that when finished they all fall a little short, have minor flaws, or don’t quite meet my expectations, and yet that works for me.  With each of these painting I start out with high expectations, and then slowly the artwork takes on almost human characteristics. May be a little of me moves into them.  Anyway, when completed they become,  a lot more real then perfect. Much more alive than, lets say, any Digital artwork. It is that human touch,  that ends up in them, that makes each of these artworks a part of me, or what connects us.  Each is an example that tells this artist that the best is yet to come.


Scott Von Holzen



S_V_H Purple Rain image2

purpleRain_2This is a short update.  This second image of Purple Rain, for now,  shows the background finished.  I call this artwork  Purple Rain, but so far violet has been the dominate color.  The plan is to save the many shades of purple for the music, and other add-nos. In this second image I  have striped out some of the violet with colors I found in Prince’s clothing in a small number of his video interviews, appearances, and performances.

While looking for a mix of colors that make up Prince’s image I saw,  and learned more than I usually do, about the artist and his music. This was intimidating, for Prince certainly is a well-respected song writer and musician.  In comparison I am just a guy painting music artworks, only starting to build a career.  That kind of thinking I had to put aside for it was too restrictive.  This painting is not a tribute to Prince.  Obviously Prince is a fabulous  artist, but if I am to succeed at being a painter of musical artworks,  Purple Rain, as an artwork, has to stand alone, as my cover of a great pop rock song.

Scott Von Holzen

S_V_H Purple Rain image1

purpleRain_1This is the artwork Purple Rain based on a single larger canvas instead of my recent trend of using small combinations of canvases.   After my first years of only using single canvases I began to combine them  to paint larger artworks. These larger size paintings peaked with the Vivaldi Four Season series where I joined single large canvasses together to produce works twelve feet, and more,  in length, by three feet in height.  The largest, and last of this series, Summer Presto, stretched 20 feet. After finishing the Vivaldi paintings I decided I needed a break from big.

The change to producing smaller artworks, came about out of exhaustion, and the practical consideration that smaller paintings are easier to hang for more buyers which could help to increase this art’s market.  They are also less expensive to make, cheaper to ship, and take a lot less time to complete.  Since March of last year the size of my artworks have ranged from around three feet to five feet in length. The results of these small works, so far, have been disappointing, with little interest generated all through 2015 to the present.

When I began to put together my ideas for Purple Rain I looked into my storeroom,  and all I saw where stacks of large unused canvases. This got me wondering how I was going to use them up. With that thought on my mind I decided to reject the idea of using a number of small canvases for this artwork.  My new direction for Purple Rain, that you see in this first image, is to go bigger and simpler, with the choice of only one two foot by four-foot canvas.

That brings me to this general feeling that my backgrounds have become too predictable. With a new thought in mind for Purple Rain,  I decided to mark the music on the canvas before applying the first layer of paint.  This then allowed me to place the stripping so that it moves along with the music. For the background colors besides shades of purple,  I checked out Prince’s fashion look in his music videos, and  images. You can see in this first image of Purple Rain where I used colors from Prince’s performance at the 2007 Super Bowl:

Awful official NFL video.


I am painting this music because of a request by a possible buyer,  and because I am a fan of Prince’s original Funky sound.   Purple Rain stands out as an outstanding pop rock song, and a choice that might appeal to many Prince fans, as it certainly does for me.

Here is an early, and a rare live version of Prince singing Purple Rain.

Scott Von Holzen